correct introduction to shot

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correct introduction to shot

Molly99
Registered User
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 21:25

13 Sep 2005, 19:16 #1

I asked users to contribute their methods for introducing their dogs to gunfire
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Molly99
Registered User
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 21:25

13 Sep 2005, 19:17 #2

Hi Molly,
This is one of those areas where I do not "practise what I preach".
The advice that I always give other people is that they should work with an accomplice and start with the accomplice firing a shotgun, initially at a distance of several hundred yards, with the trainer remaining with the dog to give praise and watch for any sign of negative reaction. Then, over a period of several training sessions, bring the accomplice gradually closer to the dog. That's the preaching.
My actual practice is quite different. I take the puppy in a vehicle to a clay shooting ground where the car parking area is not too close to the guns. First of all I talk reassuringly to the puppy while the shooting can be mutedly heard from inside the closed car. Then I get out the car, walk round and open the tailgate and continue taking to the puppy with the bangs now a bit louder than they were in the closed car. I then get the puppy out of the car and walk him, on a lead, slowly towards the shooting, giving him some on-lead heel and sit exercises, all of which get rewarded. All of the time, of course, carefully observing the puppy to ensure that no alarm is being indicated.
That way I complete the process in the space of maybe 10 minutes and have never had any problems. My advice to anyone else, of course, would be to use the more gradual method.
I have tended to do that at round about the 16 - 20 week stage.

Just a wee addendum - Introduction to the gun is more than just introduction to shotgun reports. Maybe I should add that I would never take a puppy shooting, when I was carrying and firing a gun, until I had taken his to a few days shooting when he (and I) were merely observing other people shooting. First couple of times out I would, literally, just let him observe; then on, the next few occasions, I would give him a few retrieves, but only letting him retrieve a small number of the birds he had seen shot.
So, by the time I first shot over him, he would not only have become thoroughly accustomed to gunfire, but would also have come to associate the gunfire with the possibility of an occasional retrieve.
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Molly99
Registered User
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 21:25

13 Sep 2005, 19:17 #3

I have used several methods of desensitising dogs to the sound of gunshot, quite often Eric's method of using a clay pigeon range.
I take what Jim says as a suitable sort of blue print for desensitising and counter conditioning a dog already affected by gunshot.
With puppies I have bred myself I never bring them up in silence, apart from night time when I am conditioning a pattern for day and night, there is always a radio on in the whelping kennel. Prior to the onset of the fear imprint period, about 6-7 weeks, I make a great deal of noise around the puppies, I bang tins, fire shots outside the kennel building, I even have CD's of gunshot and fireworks I play at times of high puppy activity, and so by the time the fear imprint period arrives the noise is not a novel experience and as such does not alarm them. This educates the pups that the sound of gunshot is unalarmingly normal.
When I buy a pup I try to get it at 7 weeks old or even a few days before this if I can and I will go through a similar process albeit very, very carefully but excluding any actual gunfire. Most of the noise desensitising will be specifically at feeding time or times of intense play, again developing the loudness as a mere background noise. Following this I would at a suitable time take the pup with an older dog and a pocketful of food to the clay ground, starting a some distance I throw some food into the grass and let the pup fight the older dog for it, this progresses nearer and nearer until I sometimes end up almost next to the gun, sometimes on the first visit and sometimes by the second. Whatever, I will do this a few times in the first months of the puppies life.
The often quoted method is by taking a young dog and introducing it to the sound with the gun being fired at a considerable distance by an assistant, gradually bringing the gun closer and finally incorparating it into a retrieve. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method and I have used it many times successfully.
The reason I do not use this method too often now is that, especially with an excitable pup, the longer you can keep the pup from developing the link of the gunshot meaning something to retrieve the better. If I do use a retrieve in the desensitising process I do it in the opposite direction, but this would be only with keen retrievers. I send the dog for a retrieve and, holding the starting pistol inside the dummy bag, fire the shot when the dog is well under way to the retrieve. The shot is therefore very muffled and the dog only hears it as a background noise.
As said, there are many methods of introducing a dog/puppy to gunshot and whatever method used it should be a gradual introductio. I try to make the whole experience an insignificant background noise, I don't want it connected with any specific reward and I try not to bring attention to it by introducing it in circumstances that are new to the dog.
Jeff
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Molly99
Registered User
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 21:25

13 Sep 2005, 19:19 #4

The sporting clay range intro is sound. I precede it when the pup's 14-16 weeks by a blank or .209 primer pistol at diminishing distances, starting about 30-40 yards out. May or may not accompany flighted or thrown cold game, or bumpers.
MG
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Molly99
Registered User
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 21:25

13 Sep 2005, 19:32 #5

I use Erics gradual system. But most of my dogs will have heard gunfire in the distance from a very early age, as I bring pups out to the shoot with me on shoot days and leave them in the car crate during the drives. I park the vehicle away from the guns but the noise is still familiar to them.
I start introducing gunfire properly when I can leave the pup on a sit stay and walk 80 yards or so away. I get an assistant to fire the first shot at about that distance and watch the dog. If the dog seemed at all uncomfortable I would leave it a few weeks and then try again much further away. That hasn't happened yet. So I then proceed on my own, leaving the dog on the sit and firing at first a starting pistol, working my way towards the dog over the space of a few days. Until I can fire the pistol close to the dog without any reaction. I then move further out again and repeat the process with a .410 And then do it all again with a 12 bore. Probably totally over the top, but thats me.
Once I can fire a 12 bore next to the dog I then start firing double shots. Some dogs cope well with a single shot but become concerned with several shots so I build up to this gradually.
I think the clay shoot idea is a good one as it deals with multiple shots from the begining.
Molly
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Boone
Registered User
Joined: 01 Jul 2008, 04:11

01 Jul 2008, 04:24 #6

I use a gradual distance with my dog. Yes it is the first i have trained but he has a stronger desire to get birds. As i throw a bird with him at my gun side
in the sit position i have a partner fire a shot about 100 yrds away. We strated at 300 yrds away and now over the corse of a week as soon as he hear the gun
shot he looks ahead to see the bird. A friend of mine used the clay shooting theory and his dog will tolerate a gun shoot but does not have the association
that mine does with gun shot and bird.




James
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jessicasmith
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Joined: 16 Jul 2013, 05:27

16 Jul 2013, 05:27 #7

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